Greetings, my pretty Ponies!
Today, I got the results from the IQ test I took two weeks ago. And it turned out that I am the 1%!
Unfortunately, not according to Occupy Wall Street standards - and I severely doubt that I will ever in my life earn $500,000
or more annually. But hey, at least I score well in regards to the statistical intelligence distribution. That is worth something too, right?
This result allows me to apply membership to the German subgroup of Mensa International
, the largest and oldest high IQ society
in the world. It accepts the top 2%, which may sound exclusive at first; however, keep in mind that one in fifty people meet that criterion. In the United States of America alone one can therefor expect over six million in a population of about 314 million people. However, only a fraction of these individuals undergoes a scientific IQ test, so the American Mensa counts only circa 57,000 members. Which is still the half of all Mensans worldwide! The United Kingdom, where Mensa International was founded in 1946, has 24,000 members, while Germany reached 10,000 members in January 2012. The number of members depends both on the population and on the publicity of the society. Since Mensa is not tied to specific political, religious or philosophical views, there is no drama that could grant it headlines
Occasionally, a very young member is accepted into the club, and journalists love to write about cute smart happy children
So when Heidi Hankins joined the British Mensa at the age of four in April 2012, a German news magazine had an online article
on that. In the comments to the article users ranted against Mensans as elitist arrogant ivory-tower intellectuals, to which another user replied that instead of relying on hearsay one should attend the meetings: They take place in many larger cities, are free to visit and guests are welcome. So I did
And I did not regret it
The people were nice and friendly at the "Stammtisch". That is the German term for regular meetings in a casual atmosphere, usually once a month in an affordable tavern or restaurant. I cannot tell you much about the content of the talks though, because the first time I was paying more attention to the people, and the second time I was heavily distracted by the most delicious Greek buffet. Totally worth the €15, especially the desserts! the Mousse au Chocolate was gone by the time I finished trying pretty much everything, but the Tiramisu and Panna Cotta definitely made up for that!
Uh, where were I?
Oh yes, nice people. And I particularly appreciate that this local group offers a variety of activities, about one every week. This week we had a lovely "Spieleabend" (games evening) in a bar that has a large assortment of board games. On that occasion, a girl told me great mnemonic hooks to remember the fifty United States with their capitols. The Fifty States That Rhyme
have an addicting tune, but that does not mean I could remember the lyrics. Especially not Wakko's version
. She was also quite happy to finally receive appreciation for it
I am skeptical and intrigued at the same time towards the idea of getting people together simply because of their result in an IQ test. Shared political goals, moral views or hobbies seem to be more intuitive reasons at first glance. But then again, I have seen quite some of those organizations, and most of them rather disappointed me. It will be exciting to see which personality attributes seem to correlate with intelligence and which do not. I just regret that every active Mensan in my city seems to be above twenty, it would be most revealing to have a few children as well. Yes, always the researcher
Without further data, I can only speculate about why people join Mensa. Perhaps the most important factor is that Intelligence is treated as something positive. Instead of being bullied for having unconventional views or pondering strange questions, one meets people who share these thoughts and experiences; acceptance and support replaces exclusion and envy. One can find others who share special interests that are not met by the mainstream or one' age group. Membership, Connections, Workshops could prove useful in the job. Being kept on one's toes and learning from the professionals will challenge the mind and teach how to use it more efficiently. Maybe some members lead unusual lives and have interesting stories to tell, especially if they come from professions and social strata one normally does not meet. And last but not least, the chances to find a partner for a working long-term relationship might be much higher
The prime focus of Mensa seems to be to connect people
And in this spirit, I would also have continued to visit those meetings and take part in activities if I had failed the test, simply because of the pleasant company. Most of it is public, so any interested person can drop in - although it is advisable to write a mail, since "Stammtische" usually book a table and therefor need an estimate how many are coming. Germans can use this nifty search
, but I fail to find an American pendant. It seems you need to be a member to see the Event Calendar
. I will write them a mail asking how an interested non-member can find out about activities in his proximity
There is one very important issue though I did not address at all: What is "Intelligence" in the first place? That is one of the most thrilling topics in Psychology. Are there multiple Intelligences in an individual? Are Genes more important than Education? What do IQ tests really tell? Can Intelligence change a lot over a life-time? And could high Intelligence have unexpected downsides as well? I will have to dedicate at least one entire Journal Entry to that topic
Your faithful Brony, Ray!